Eugene Von Bruenchenhein
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein was born in Wisconsin on July 31, 1910. He lived in a small house in Milwaukee with his wife, Marie, and he worked in a bakery. He was a self-taught artist, and believed he was capable of great things. His first paintings were on panels of boxes that he brought home from the bakery. Despite the fact that he was never successful selling his work or gaining any recognition during his lifetime, his passion drove him to produce thousands of paintings, sculptures and photographs. Since his death in 1983 he has been increasingly recognized as a uniquely important American Visionary artist.
In 2010, to celebrate the centenary of Von Bruenchenhein's birth, three major US museums mounted solo exhibitions of his work, spanning the diverse media in which he worked. Because the peak of Von Bruenchenhein's visionary artistry is seen in his paintings, AVAM chose to present a selection of them for a powerful exhibit entiled Out Of This World. They came to us from The Von Bruenchenhein Collection. These and many more of his paintings can be viewed at the collection's website: vonbruenchenhein.com. Visitors to the site may download high resolution images of the paintings free of charge.
Late at night, Von Bruenchenhein would sit at his kitchen table and let his imagination go. He applied paint to board, and then moved the paint around. First, he used just his fingers. Then he began to scrape with combs, quills, bakery tools and other objects. Most of his paintings were completed in a frenzy of activity that lasted one to three hours. The images are amazing for their dimensionality and detail, and for the worlds they reveal to us - so far removed from our own. By his own accounting, Von Bruenchenhein completed 1,080 paintings. When he died, his small house was crammed from floor to ceiling with these out-of-this world paintings.
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